In Gowan Ring
The Glinting Spade
In Gowan Ring fits into the “apocalyptic folk” category, but at the same time is removed enough not to sound either derivative or too similar. I’d long ago dismissed this scene as being far too insular and stagnant and have essentially purged my collection of the World Serpent gang, but if this is any indication of the future of the label, it looks like I may have to check back in (In Gowan Ring is distributed in Europe by World Serpent Distribution.)
What strikes me most about this CD is its unwavering sincerity. The whole package, down to the rolled up lyric sheet behind the tray, is wonderfully constructed, even the press release was extra-nice! B’eirth’s singing has a quiet lyricism, never forced in the least. The instrumentation is very organic, the drones don’t seem to be synthesized, and so have a very human quality to them. The music has a medieval flavor to it, but In Gowan Ring’s style is never overblown. Every note is carefully placed, and never hurried. There is a medieval quality to this album, at least based on my perception of what that era’s music sounds like. There is also a delicacy inherent on The Glinting Spade which ties together its ballad and drone qualities.
I’ll go so far as to call this album beautiful. Everything about it shimmers, and lets off a lovely golden glow.
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